‘Everyone wants validation. They want to know: Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say matter to you?’
Of course, in order to answer the question ‘do you hear me?’ we sometimes need a way of helping our employees to feel confident in actually saying something! This is where questions play their part – great questions that engage our employees in conversations where we can demonstrate a resounding ‘yes I hear what you say and what you say matters’
Here are some of my favourite questions:
Management Skills: Great questions to ask your employees
For getting clear on performance objectives / standards
- What do you think effective performance looks like for this part of your job?
- Which of these descriptions can we agree as performance objectives?
Helping the employee understand the importance of their work
- Why do you think it’s important to the team / department / business that you achieve these objectives?
(Read more on why this is important in ‘Management Skills: Help employees to understand the bigger picture’)
Involving employees in monitoring their own performance
- How will you know that you are meeting this objective?
- What do you think is the best way for us to monitor performance against this objective?
For Performance Appraisal
- What needs to happen for you to find our planned appraisal meeting really motivational?
- How would you evaluate your performance against the agreed objectives?
- What have been your key achievements and successes?
- What areas for development have you identified?
- How can we best meet those development needs?
- Have there been any barriers to achieving your objectives?
- What needs to happen for you to overcome those barriers?
- Are there any changes facing the team or business that will require new performance objectives?
- Are there any performance objectives you think are no longer appropriate, or need amending?
(You can see these questions presented as a ‘Performance Appraisal Checklist’ in ‘How to Help Your Employee Prepare for the Appraisal Meeting’)
- What gives you the most satisfaction in your work?
- How could we ensure you maintain or improve that satisfaction?
- Are there any other ways you and I could improve your satisfaction?
- Is there anything I could do; more of, less of, or differently to improve your job satisfaction?
(Read more on why that last question is so powerful in ‘Improving Employee Job Satisfaction Using Just One Golden Question‘)
Of course there are many other great questions you can ask your employees. What questions do you ask? What are your ‘great’ questions?